x Abu Dhabi, UAESunday 21 January 2018

Newt Gingrich: Romney trounced Obama in first debate

Former Republican presidential candidate Newt Gingrich said Mitt Romney dominated President Barack Obama in the first US presidential debate.

WASHINGTON // Former US House speaker, Newt Gingrich, said Mitt Romney, who defeated him in this year's Republican presidential primaries, trounced president Barack Obama in the general election debate last week.

"Mitt Romney walked over him," Mr Gingrich said yesterday on NBC's Meet the Press programme, criticising the president for not tackling Romney "head-on".

Analysis of the 90-minute debate on economic policy last Wednesday at the University of Denver dominated the Sunday talk shows, as Democrats worked to change the perception that the president lost to an aggressive and lively Mr Romney by portraying the Republican challenger as willing to say anything.

Mr Romney was "completely dishonest" and "distorted and ignored" facts, David Axelrod, an Obama campaign strategist, said on CBS's Face the Nation.

Asked why Mr Obama didn't make those arguments during the debate, Mr Axelrod said, "he was a little taken aback at the brazenness" of Governor Romney.

Democrats in the past few days have pointed to Mr Romney's tax-cut plan, his views on teacher hiring and his desire to see people with existing conditions covered in any health care overhauls as departures from previous campaign statements.

* Bloomberg